Fifty excited adult trials riders came out of hibernation over two sessions with gleaming trials machines to embrace the new reality of the world of trials - practice trials.
Using the ACU Risk Assessments and formulating supplementary regulations to allow for local conditions Waltham Chase Trials Club hosted their first practice session at Oakridge Copse near Salisbury and it was deemed to be both a very safe and a very enjoyable event for all riders.
Key measures were put in place:-
Administration minimised online pre entry or personal phone calls for technophobes - no on day entry agreed, fixed riding numbers for all club members Signed entry forms posted in a box on the day (for a few days quarantine) Fees posted in box or transferred online
On the day No spectators or minders Rider numbers checked against entry list at the gate limited entry to allow for social distancing when parking and riding one way system riding in twos or threes with staggered start clear signage to remind about safety measures including social distancing
What made it work?
The event was well planned to ensure maximum safety this reassured the riders about their own personal safety and how to ride the event for the safety of others.
Having a limited of 30 riders with 15 sections and a good circuit between allowed plenty of space when riding - two sessions were held on the day to meet the needs of the majority of club members.
A team of marshalls circulated to check for rider safety
If a rider fell, they did occasionally, after a three month lay off, the ‘thumbs up’ sign indicating the rider was ‘ok’ stopped the natural instinct of marshalls and riders to step in and help.
The commitment of every rider to enjoy the chance to ride but also to look after the safety of others and themselves
What have we learned?
With good preparation the event can run very smoothly, however there were no injuries to contend with on this occasion, emergency service numbers were clearly displayed in case.
There is a balance between the number of riders and the space available for car parking and sections.
There will be no hesitation to run future practice trials and develop them further as the format works.
Is this the way forward?
For practice trials this is the way forward although the club will look at increasing the numbers of riders to meet the needs of club members within the restraints of the venue.
For competition, with a full complement of observers the format could be used maintaining safety, with PPE and quarantined results sheets.
Want to run a successful practice trial?
Waltham Chase would be happy to share the preparatory information and paperwork based on the ACU’s comprehensive advice to help other clubs start to ride again